Education event

Rural Health Care Symposium
Keeping Pace with Change

Register now
March 21 – 23, 2018
Hyatt Regency, Sacramento, CA


Rural hospitals are always adapting — to community needs, changes in staffing and regulatory updates, as well as provider reimbursement. You can’t stop change, but you can prepare for it.

Preparation is key. By participating in the annual Rural Health Care Symposium, rural leadership will receive the tools, resources and tips for Keeping Pace with Change. From regulatory compliance to recruitment, contract management and facilities operation, attendees will be better prepared for what lies ahead.

This two-day executive level program will provide you with useful and relevant information to keep you moving forward and in the right direction.

Critical Access Hospital Scholarships

Do you work for a critical access hospital? If so, tuition funding is available through the CAH Flex Grant. Check the CAH Scholarships tab for more information.

Who Should Attend?

Chief executive officers, administrators, chief operating officers, chief financial officers, nurse leaders and trustees of rural hospitals would all benefit.


Tuesday & Wednesday, March 20 – 21, 2018

Back-to-Back Events for Health Care Executives
Rural hospital executives are encouraged to arrive one to two days early and participate in CHA’s 2018 Health Policy Legislative Day. Don’t miss this opportunity to influence public policy and carry the message on important public policy and health care issues to your legislators at the Capitol. As a health care leader, it is critical to attend both events. Separate registration is required. For more information or to register, go to

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. | Welcome Reception – Cafeteria 15L
Take the opportunity to relax and network with colleagues while enjoying appetizers and beverages.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. | Check-in/Registration

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. | Opening and Welcome
Anne Platt, CEO, Sutter Amador Hospital, Chair, Rural Hospital Advisory Board; Peggy Broussard Wheeler, Vice President, Rural Healthcare and Governance, California Hospital Association

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. | Keynote Session 
Establishing Organizational Culture and Leadership’s Responsibilities
Joe Tye, CEO & Head Coach of Values Coach, Inc.
​While employees play a part in changing and supporting organizational culture, at the end of the day, leaders are the ones who ultimately make or break the vision. This session will discuss leadership’s role in establishing a culture that attracts the best employees which leads to the best care for patients.

10:15 – 11:00 a.m.  | General Session    
Keeping Pace with Change
Carmela Coyle, President & CEO, California Hospital Association
In a relaxed interview setting, CHA’s president and CEO will provide attendees with valuable information about our association’s future plans to support hospitals in California.

11:30 a.m. —  12:30 p.m. | General Session
Health Plan Contracting —
Establishing Profitable and Meaningful Relationships 
Noah Rosenberg, Partner, Rosenberg & Pick, Law Corporation
When it comes to negotiating with health plans, rural hospitals are often unaware of the advantages they may have over larger hospitals and hospital systems. Developing innovative and strategic relationships with plan decision makers can enhance these advantages even further. This session will provide critical information to educate you on the changing market and political landscape. Take home information to assist in improving reimbursement for your hospital, while providing optimum care for your patient base.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. | Hosted Luncheon

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | General Session
Utilizing a CEO Dashboard to Improve Operational Efficiencies and Patient Care

Michelle Donaldson, BSN, MHA, Chief Revenue Officer, Sonoma Valley Hospital; and John Novotny, MD, MSc, Founder, patientsDB 
Achieving financial stability requires hospital leaders understand the cash flow and true costs of care for every case and procedure.  Standard budget reporting methods often fall short in providing the critical information needed for proper assessment. In this session, you will learn about a precise method of informing your rolling budget process using agile operational cost accounting dashboards specifically designed for small hospitals.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | General Session 
HCAHPS and Beyond: Using Actionable Data to Drive Improvement in Patient/Family Experience

Eric Lo Monaco, Director, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula; and Boris Kalanj, MSW, Director, Cultural Care and Experience, Hospital Quality Institute
How satisfied are your patients with the care they receive? Do you have a way to measure your facility’s performance? Though not currently required, Critical Access Hospitals can voluntarily participate in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, which measures patients’ experience of hospital care. This session will discuss strategies for success with HCAHPS, innovative ways to obtain real-time data from patients, and proven methods to translate insights into improvement.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Panel Session
Partnering with Your Community to Treat Patients with Behavioral Health Issues — Panel Discussion

Susan Redford, MFT, Psychiatric Emergency Supervisor, Sutter-Yuba Mental Health Services; Gino Patrizio, Chief Executive Officer, Theresa Hyer, MSN, RN, TNS, Director, Emergency Services, Katherine Willing, BSN, RN, CEN, Manager, Emergency Department, and Derek Orchard, Medical Director, Emergency Department, Rideout Regional Medical Center, Marysville

A partnership between hospitals and county behavioral health facilities is crucial for the management of the limited resources available for the psychiatric patient, but sometimes making the connections between the two organizations can feel like one more hurdle to jump over. Listen to a panel of individuals from county hospitals discuss obstacles they faced when treating patients with behavioral health issues and the success they are achieving through community partnerships.

5:00 – 6:15 p.m.| Reception
Catch up with colleagues or exchange ideas about the day’s sessions while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Friday, March 23, 2018

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. | Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | General Session
Annual CEO Roundtable  

Steve Rousso, Partner, Wipfli LLP/HFS Consultants (moderator); Kevin Flanigan, CEO, Northern Inyo Healthcare; Gwen Matthews, CEO and President, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley; Gary Myers, CEO, Mammoth Hospital; Jeff Eller, CEO, Northern California Network of Adventist Health
Join your peers for a candid discussion of rural health care policy, operation and practice. This year’s topics include potential ACA changes, workforce challenges, including physician employment strategies, and innovative collaborations. Bring your questions for this interactive session.  

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. | Closing Keynote
How Changing Needs Impacts Health Care Delivery​

John Supplitt, Senior Director,  American Hospital Association
To stay ahead in the ever-changing environment, hospitals must consider what value they bring to the communities they serve. Patient demographics have evolved and what patients care about has also changed. This session will review disruption in the industry and discuss how it impacts health care delivery at the community level.

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Closing Remarks


Carmela Coyle
President & CEO
California Hospital Association

Carmela Coyle began her tenure as President & CEO of the California Hospital Association, the statewide leader representing the interests of more than 400 hospitals and health systems in California, in October 2017. Previously, Coyle led the Maryland Hospital Association for nine years, where she played a leading role in reframing the hospital payment system in Maryland and moving to a value-based methodology.
Prior to 2008, Coyle spent 20 years in senior policy positions with the American Hospital Association (AHA), including 11 years as the senior vice president of policy, where she served as a national media spokesperson and led AHA’s policy development and strategic planning activities. Earlier in her career, she worked for the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C., advising members of Congress and their staff on the economic and budgetary implications of legislative policy.
Coyle currently is a member of AHA’s Board of Trustees.

Michelle Donaldson, BSN, MHA
Chief Revenue Officer
Sonoma Valley Hospital

Michelle Donaldson is the Chief Revenue Officer for Sonoma Valley Hospital, Sonoma, California and is an expert in operational cost accounting and efficiency management for hospitals. Ms. Donaldson is an RN with 20 years of experience serving in the roles of Director of Surgery and Hospital Administrator. At Sonoma Valley Hospital, she has implemented innovative operational accounting methods to restructure service lines, resulting in significantly improved efficiency and increased operating income.

Jeff Eller
Chief Executive Officer
Northern California Network of Adventist Health

Mr. Jeff Eller has been the chief executive officer and president of Northern California Network of Adventist Health at St. Helena Hospital since December 17, 2015. Mr. Eller serves as the chief executive officer and president of Northern California Region at Adventist Health System/West Inc. Previously, Mr. Eller served as the chief executive officer and president at Sonora Regional Medical Center. During his five-year tenure at Sonora Regional Medical Center, … he expanded healthcare services in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties opening ten additional network clinics with 22 new physicians and 3 mid-levels and a second retail pharmacy and a pediatric clinic to serve Medi-Cal patients.

Kevin Flanigan
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Inyo Healthcare

Dr. Flanigan was named acting CEO last September following the departure of former administrator Victoria Alexander-Lane. During his time as CEO, Dr. Flanigan has worked closely with the NIHD board and employees to develop and establish long-term strategic goals and to position the district to develop and implement those objectives. Dr. Flanigan and the district employees focus on continuous improvement and ensuring the best health outcomes for everyone in the district. Previously, Dr. served for almost five years as the Medical Director for the State of Maine Medicaid program known as MaineCare.

Theresa Hyer, MSN, RN TNS
Director, Emergency Services
Rideout Health

Theresa Hyer is the Director of Emergency Services at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville, California.  Rideout Memorial is a rural Level III Trauma Center serving 74,000 patients annually.  Ms. Hyer has 30 years of Emergency Department experience; fourteen of which have been spent in leadership roles within the Emergency Department.  The last two hospitals she managed were both awarded the California Emergency Physicians’ Distinguished Site Award for Process Improvement. This year, for their county mental health collaborative, Ms. Hyer and her team won the Chamber of Commerce Innovation and Rising Star Award, the state-wide Mental Health Care Challenge Award, the Emergency Nurses Association Abstract Award, and the California Hospital Association Summit Award for Innovation.

Boris Kalanj, MSW
Director, Cultural Care, and Experience
Hospital Quality Institute

Boris Kalanj is director of cultural Care and Experience for the Hospital Quality Institute (HQI.) His background includes leadership in the design and direction of patient experience programs in public and private hospital systems, leading organizational strategies in diversity, language access, cultural competence, and care equity. Mr. Kalanj’s extensive frontline experience provides expertise to connect patient, family and community needs and preferences to hospital care and services.
Previously, as director of programs, Mr. Kalanj led care quality improvement programs for 21 California public hospital systems at the California Health Care Safety Net Institute (SNI), including Patient Experience Transformation (PExT), CG-CAHPS Improvement Network, Spreading Palliative Care in Public Hospitals Initiative and a virtual Community of Practice for Interpreters in Palliative Care.

Eric Lo Monaco
Director, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

Mr. Lo Monaco is the director of diagnostic and interventional radiology at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, previously, serving as assistant director of radiation oncology. Prior to Monterey Peninsula, Mr. Lo Monaco worked as a radiologic technologist and as a radiation therapist at several facilities, including Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, City of Hope National Medical Center, and the Lowell General Hospital Cancer Center in Massachusetts. Mr. Lo Monaco is a certified radiology administrator, a certified lean leader, and a certified radiation therapist.

Gwen Matthews
President & CEO
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley

Gwen Matthews has set a culture, strategy, and engagement as president & CEO of Ukiah Valley Medical Center and clinics (UVMC) from October 2011 to the present that has led to success. Collaborative leadership style has built a team that delivered on promises and aligned people at all levels of the organization to achieve its goals. Previously, Ms. Matthews was the senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. In this role, she focused on redesigning the care delivery system management structure to support clinical and operational functions. She was successful in maximizing support to frontline staff, reducing agency use and increasing physician satisfaction with a “go-to” unit-based leader.

Gary Myers
Chief Executive Officer
Mammoth Hospital

Gary Myers, CEO of Mammoth Hospital, has over 40 years of experience in health care and has been a resident of the Mammoth Lakes community since 1981. Gary served on the Southern Mono Healthcare District Board of Directors from 1992-1994 and in 1995 became the Chief Executive Officer, a position he held for 13 years.  During that time he was an active member of the California Hospital Association’s Rural Hospital Center and served two terms as the Chair.  Following a long period of sustained growth and development of hospital services and facilities, Gary resigned his post to return to patient care as a physical therapist. He stepped back into the CEO role at Mammoth Hospital in 2012.

John Novotny, MD, MSc
CEO & Founder

John Novotny is an entrepreneur and inventor of PatientsDB software system for hospital operational accounting, budgeting, and staff management.  A board-certified internist and Six Sigma Performance Excellence Greenbelt, Dr.  Novotny completed his MD at Northwestern, his medicine residency at Brown, and his master’s degree in biostatistics at Columbia before a career in hospital medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Derek Orchard, MD
Medical Director, Emergency Department
Rideout Regional Medical Center

Derek Orchard is the Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at Rideout Regional Medical Center. He studied Biology at University of California San Diego where he also played on the Men’s Soccer Team. Derek went to medical school at Touro University and completed a residency at one of the busiest Emergency Departments in California, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. He loves practicing emergency medicine particularly in underserved areas. Derek can be found in the mountains or spending time with family and friends when not in the hospital.

Gino Patrizio
Chief Executive Officer
Rideout Health

Mr. Patrizio has been a healthcare professional for more than 20 years and has over a decade of experience as a hospital executive.  Mr. Patrizio joined Rideout Health in 2014 and became the CEO in 2015, where he serves today.  Rideout Health is a fully-integrated healthcare system serving a 5-county region north of Sacramento.  Before working in hospital administration, Mr. Patrizio practiced law for 10 years, exclusively representing physicians, hospitals, and health care system, primarily in professional liability.

Anne Platt
CEO, Sutter Amador Hospital, Chair
Rural Hospital Advisory Board

Anne Platt has been the CEO at Sutter Amador Hospital for more than 12 years. Prior to Sutter Health, Ms. Platt worked with Banner Health as CEO of East Morgan County Hospital where she was the recipient of the Colorado Rural Health Excellence Award. She has also worked in chief executive roles in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Minnesota and is a strong advocate for rural health policy.
Ms. Platt is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and currently serves on the California Rural Hospital Advisory committee. She is a member of the Jackson Rotary Club and serves on the boards of Hospice of Amador and Calaveras Counties, the Amador County Business Council, and the Sutter Amador Ambulatory Surgery Center.

Susan Redford, MA, LMFT, LPC, LISAC
Psychiatric Emergency Supervisor
Sutter-Yuba Mental Health Services

Susan Redford is presently the psychiatric emergency services supervisor for Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health (SYBH).  Ms. Redford has almost three decades of experience working as a licensed clinician in mostly rural communities in California and Arizona. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing new and innovative clinical paradigms and programs such as a walk-in open access services clinic and partnering with Rideout Memorial Hospital Emergency Department and SYBH’s innovative psychiatric emergency collaborative. She is the recipient of several awards and recognitions including the first Nurtured Heart Approach “Innovations” award for her work with individuals with co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders. 

Noah Rosenberg, Esq.
Rosenberg and Pick, Law Corporation

Noah Rosenberg advises hospitals, hospital systems, physician groups, hospital/physician integrated delivery systems and employers in all facets of healthcare. He is frequently recognized as a premier managed care attorney in the United States. During his career, Mr. Rosenberg has negotiated commercial and governmental healthcare agreements on behalf of clients in more than 20 states and outside the country. He has designed and developed more than 200 physician groups and numerous strategic affiliations/integrations between and among hospitals, hospital systems, physician groups and those who purchase health care. Mr. Rosenberg interacts with regulators on issues specific to, among other matters, the health insurance exchanges, licensing and public policy issues.

Steve Rousso
WIPFLi /HFS Consultants

Steven Rousso is a partner with WIPFLi/ HFS Consultants, a CPA, and healthcare consulting firm. Mr. Rousso has been in the health care consulting profession for over 35 years and consulted with more than 100 hospitals and 200 clinics during his career.
Mr. Rousso worked with providers in the areas of RHC/FQHC development and certification, reimbursement, feasibility studies, and outpatient-licensing models for provider-based hospitals. He has experience with various rural hospital programs including swing beds, critical access hospitals, and has developed more than 75 rural health clinics.  Mr. Rousso has acted as a chief financial officer for two hospitals as well as a group of six primary care clinics. 

John Supplitt
Senior Director, Constituency Sections
American Hospital Association

John Supplitt is senior director of the Section for Small or Rural Hospitals of the American Hospital Association. Since 1993, he has worked with and on behalf of the AHA’s 2000 small or rural hospital including 975 CAH members to identify, develop, and advance their unique health care interests, issues, and perspectives. Mr. Supplitt manages the Section’s member services, governance, and communications including its Web site, newsletters, and technical advisories. He has served on several national panels and advisory groups for development of national rural health policy, program development and demonstrations, and grant review and evaluation.

Joe Tye
CEO & Head Coach
Values Coach, Inc.

Joe Tye is CEO and head coach of Values Coach, which provides consulting, training and coaching on values-based leadership and cultural transformation. Mr. Tye is the author or coauthor of fifteen books including his newest release Building a Culture of Ownership in Healthcare (with Bob Dent). His book The Florence Prescription: from Accountability to Ownership has more than 500,000 copies in print. Prior to founding Values Coach in 1994, he was a chief operating officer for a large community teaching hospital. On the volunteer front, Mr. Tye was the founding president of the Association of Air Medical Services and a leading activist fighting against unethical marketing practices of the tobacco industry’s white collar drug pushers. 

Peggy Broussard Wheeler
Vice President, Rural Health Care and Governance
California Hospital Association

Peggy Broussard Wheeler serves as vice president of CHA’s Rural Health Care Center. She is responsible for developing, advocating and executing public policies, legislation and regulations on behalf of small and rural hospitals at the state and national levels. In addition, she serves as the issue manager for language access, governance, prison and homeless issues. 
Previously, Ms. Wheeler served as health policy analyst for the California Legislative Rural Caucus where she conducted research and provided analyses of relevant issues that affect individuals, families, and communities in rural California. 

Katherine Willing, BSN, RN, CEN
Manager, Emergency Services
Rideout Regional Medical Center

Katherine Willing is the emergency department manager at Rideout Regional Medical Center in Marysville, California. Ms. Willing has 21 years of emergency department experience. She was instrumental in winning the Chamber of Commerce 2016 Innovation award and Rising Star award for the Mental Health Collaborative.



Members* $525, Nonmembers** $725 (limitations apply, see below)

Tuition includes reception, luncheon and CEs.

Critical Access Hospital Tuition Scholarships
CAH tuition scholarships are available for the symposium. See the CAH Scholarship tab for more information.

*Members are CHA member hospitals, CHA associate members and government agencies. **Nonmembers are limited to non-hospital health care providers, clinics, post-acute facilities, and consultants, insurance companies, law firms and other entities that serve hospitals. Education programs and publications are a membership benefit and are not available to eligible nonmember California hospitals.

Continuing Education

Full attendance at the educational session is a prerequisite for receiving professional continuing education credit. Attendees must sign in at the symposium and, when required, include professional license number. Certificates of attendance will be emailed.

Health Care Executives — CHA is authorized to award 6.25 hours of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit for this program toward advancement, or recertification, in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program who wish to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit must self-report their participation. To self-report, participants must log into their MyACHE account and select ACHE Qualified Education Credit.

Nursing — Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, CEP 11924, 7.5 contact hours.

Cancellation Policy

A $75 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation received in writing by March 15. No refunds will be made after this date. Substitutions are encouraged. Cancellation and substitution notifications may be emailed to In the unlikely event the program is cancelled, CHA will fully refund paid participants within 30 days.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you require special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the CHA Education Department at (916) 552-7637.


CHA will photograph this event. If you prefer not to be photographed, please email CHA at

CAH Scholarships

Critical Access Hospital tuition scholarships are available through the CAH Flex Grant for the symposium. Some limitations apply. For more information, contact Peggy Broussard Wheeler at (916) 552-7689 or


Hyatt Regency Sacramento
1209 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(888) 421-1442 (reservations)
(916) 443-1234

The Hyatt Regency Sacramento is the host hotel and site of this year’s event. Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento and directly across the street from the State Capitol, the Hyatt is close to numerous dining options, shopping and parks. Rooms are available at a discounted rate of $239, single and double occupancy. Don’t delay, the discount deadline is March 2 and room availability is limited. For reservations call (888) 421-1442 and mention “California Hospital Association.”


Do you have a product or service of interest to rural hospitals? This annual conference is an opportunity to reach California rural hospital executives all in one place.

Want more information?

On behalf of the California Hospital Association, we would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their promotional support of the Rural Health Care Symposium.

Platinum Sponsors:


Silver Sponsors:


Bronze Sponsors: